Eminent Victorian Chess Players
by Tim Harding
Publisher: McFarland, 2012
Edition: Paperback large
This book portrays British chess life in the nineteenth century through biographical studies of ten players who shaped the modern game.
From Captain Evans, inventor of the famous gambit, to Isidor Gunsberg, England’s first challenger for the world championship, personal narratives are blended with game annotations to reassess players’ achievements and character.
The author has combined deep reading in primary sources with genealogical research to reveal new facts and correct previous misunderstandings. Major chapters on Howard Staunton and William Steinitz, in particular, highlight the tensions between Englishmen and immigrants, amateurs and professionals.
The contrasting long careers of Henry Bird and Joseph Blackburne provide a thread of continuity.The lives of several other important figures in Victorian chess are also presented.
More than 160 games (with diagrams), several annotated in detail, and 50 photographs and line drawings are included. Appendices provide career records for all ten; there are extensive notes, a bibliography and indexes.
Tim Harding played for Ireland at the 1984 FIDE chess olympiad in Thessaloniki, and is a Senior International Master of correspondence chess. A well-known writer on many aspects of chess, he was editor of Chess Mail magazine from 1996 to 2005.
Since 1996 he has contributed the monthly articles in "The Kibitzer" series at chesscafe.com He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Abbreviations and Annotation Symbols 7
1. William Davies Evans (1790-1872) 9
2. Howard Staunton (1810-1874) 35
3. John Jacob Lowenthal (1810?-1876) 73
4. Henry Edward Bird (1829-1908) 108
5. Arthur Bolland Skipworth (1830-1898) 134
6. William Steinitz (1836-1900) 160
7. Joseph Henry Blackburne (1841-1924) 204
8. Johannes Hermann Zukertort (1842-1888) 230
9. Amos Burn (1848-1925) 260
10. Isidor Arthur Gunsberg (1854-1930) 278
Appendix I. Career Records 315
Appendix II. Games by Captain Evans 322
Appendix III. Evans Family Financial Appeals 332
Appendix IV. Staunton’s Contract with Routledge 338
Appendix V. Lowenthal’s Will 340
Appendix VI. The Career of Mephisto 341
Chapter Notes 349
Select Bibliography 383
Index of Images 387
Index of Opponents 387
Index of Openings (by Name) 388
Index of Openings (by ECO Code) 389
General Index 390
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